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Asteatotic/Wintertime Dry Eczema

Asteatotic eczema is caused by a reduction in the skin's natural oils. Certain body sites have few grease glands, and when these become less active in older age the result is dry, cracked, sore skin. The low humidity and cold weather of winter combined with central heating or sitting close to fires or radiators make the skin drier, and this is made even worse by using soaps, shower gels and bubble baths.

Asteatotic eczema mainly affects the lower legs, arms and hands, and sometimes parts of the torso. The shins are a particular trouble zone, and often develop a crazy paving or shattered glass pattern of eczema with many fine red cracks and a dry, scaly surface. The problem is commonest in the elderly, but younger adults are occasionally affected. There is usually no underlying health problem but, rarely, generalized dryness of the skin can be due to nutritional deficiencies or an under-active thyroid gland. The most important aspect of treatment is to use plenty of greasy moisturizers and moisturizing soap substitutes. Sometimes a mild steroid ointment may be needed to settle the irritation.

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Disclaimer: website is designed for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure, or prevent any disease. Always take the advice of professional health care for specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment. We will not be liable for any complications, or other medical accidents arising from the use of any information on this web site. Please note that medical information is constantly changing. Therefore some information may be out of date.